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Location: Austin Colorado
Joined: 10/26/2006
Posts: 52
Colorado DOW Needs Your Help in Poaching Case

Good point Hiker.

I've made the mistake before. I've killed 25 or so muley's and until last year I hadn't had a problem. I was in the timber and had a doe tag opening morning I saw my doe 80 yards away in timber. I checked the head...no antlers...looked for a shooting lane...rechecked the head no antlers...dropped the scope to the neck...clean shot no wasted meat...walked up to the doe and found a 7inch spike buck. I gutted the guy out packed it back to camp and called the game warden. He listened to my story, in which I explained the above, I took total responsibility for not being 100% sure of my target. He took the buck gave me a $65 fine no points and told me to be more careful. Having volunteered for CDOW before it's much better to make things right with the law then try and get around it. If you leave a critter in the woods it is considered "Wanton Waste" big fines and loss of hunting for years to come. The animal that is confiscated is normally processed and given to low income families, senior food programs or other hunters with the same tag that have been unsuccessful. For a mistake that is bound to happen at some point in a hunter's life it's a pretty bright outcome.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
Colorado DOW Needs Your Help in Poaching Case

Unfortunately, this stuff happens all the time. Believe it or not, some doofs will get frustrated at not seeing a legal bull and take a pop shot at a smaller bull or a cow just to see it he could kill it. Sounds sick and stupid, but it does happen. More moose get accidently shot during the big game season by those mistaking them from elk. It's not rocket science.

Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/03/2006
Posts: 23
Colorado DOW Needs Your Help in Poaching Case

My first elk hunt was in AZ when my dad and I drew an ANY ELK tag. Two of only 50 for the area. While hunting the first day, we came across two elk that had been properly cleaned, but not tagged. One was a nice 6x6 bull and the other a very small calf. Later we found out that a father and son saw the bull between the trees and both shot, both hit it and it went down where it stood. What they did not see was the calf on the other side and it too was hit and down. The problem was, they had bull only tags.

Others in their party said that they tried all day to find someone with an any tag to tag the calf, but were unable to locate anyone. Their next trip was to the game ranger and he wrote them both a citation, took their guns and their tags. I think he was a little harsh on them, but unfortunately, I don't know what the final outcome was since they had to appear in court some time later. The judge may have had better since. I think I have some pretty strong ethics and other than not tagging the bull and not seeing the calf, I think they did everything right. I will also say the the sight of those two elk VERY cleanly cared for and the events of that day have remained a clear memory for over thirty years.

I know that tagging an animal you did not shoot is illegal so trying to find someone to do that was technically wrong, but some might see this as no harm no foul. Tough decision if it you on the wrong end of the stick.

I have been fortunate in my hunting days and not made a mistake, but sometimes you're in the wrong place at the right time and even the best can screw up accidentally. I am happy to hear that the CDOW realizes that true accidents sometimes happen (ie, could not see the small spike horn due to the ears or the small calf behind the big bull elk) and may not throw the book at you if you do the right thing after the fact.

Oh yea, I was so young and my dad was so unprepared that we left an almost guaranteed tag unfilled. That one has stuck in my craw all these years too.

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